Tea party targeting may be out, but wealth targeting is still very much in vogue at the IRS, where auditors target the wealthy and those with high incomes at much higher rates than other taxpayers.
While the average taxpayer faced a less than 1 percent chance of an audit in the 2014 fiscal year, those making $200,000 had twice that rate, and the higher the income, the more likely the auditors were to take a look.
Those with annual incomes of at least $10 million had a one in four chance of facing an audit in the 2013 fiscal year, which dropped to a one in six chance by last year, the agency’s inspector general said in a report late last week.
It’s all very much by design. Wealthy taxpayers are more likely to use complex financial arrangements to manage their money, and audits are needed to keep them in compliance and paying their fair share under the law.